Updates and stuff.

Sorry for the lag in posts. I don’t get on the computer very often, and when I do it’s for fun stuff like deleting 2000 spam emails and paying bills.

I recently wrote a little column for the mother’s group newsletter that does a good job of explaining my feelings toward moving here and how I deal with transitioning. I’ll post that for your enjoyment soon.

Some updates before Henry wakes up from his 9 am nap (the result of waking us up at 5 am):

  • Henry is 19 months old and stranger danger is in full effect. He dislikes most people except me at the moment and other kids at the park. I’m hoping it passes soon so I won’t feel so guilty about maybe hiring a babysitter so Chris and I can enjoy some wine in this beautiful county of Sonoma.
  • Speaking of parks, that’s what we do most days. That stretch from nap time to bed time is looooong and I like to get him good and worn out. The only downside is since school is out, a lot of day cares and summer programs hang out at the parks too so I usually single out one or two “big kids” to watch out for Henry since he insists on climbing the jungle gym solo while other, larger, wilder children are jumping around on it. Not good for my nerves, at all. So far, it’s been alright though. 
  • I’ve made a couple friends and Henry’s had several play dates. I’ve already seen a change in how he plays and interacts with us, and I have a couple friends now, so it’s positivity all around in that regard.
  • I am very, very homesick. That will probably never change. 
  • Still homesick, but very happy we moved here if we had to move anywhere. I love the people, the scenery, the food, the atmosphere, the farmer’s markets, the proximity to San Francisco, all of it. It’s great. 
  • There is more that I can’t think of right now (got awoken at 5 am, remember?) I promise I will start writing with more substance. Someday. Here are some Henry play time pics to make up for it.

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A little bit of whine in wine country.

I have written several posts since arriving in California, and I end up typing a looooong diatribe of nonsense and whining and I scrap it.

There is so much good in my life but I’m having a really hard time getting over the homesickness and worry. I think that’s just part of my personality. I will always and forever be worried about money and always and forever miss something and/or someone. Anxious and nostalgic, that sums me up. Sounds like a party to be around, right? I’m sure Chris just loves coming home to this mess every night (he’s very sweet to me).

I miss my mom. I miss my friends. I miss everything. I’m super lonely. But here’s the thing that’s been getting me lately: I’m INCREDIBLY SUPER DUPER LUCKY. I have a healthy, happy, funny, amazing toddler who is my world. I’m blessed enough that I get to stay home with him every day. Sure, money is tight. Like, stretched to the penny, but we make it work. What set off a panic attack tonight was getting health insurance for myself and Henry (Chris’s is 100% paid through his new job — again, grateful). But just looking in our already tight budget and trying to fit that extra necessary expense is stressful.

So anyway, this town is beautiful and I love it. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get out there and discover more of it. I’ll get on that after just a little more wallowing, ok?

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of what everyone comes here for, pics of the kid and other misc. I promise I’ll get back to normal soon.

BiscottiSharing some really great biscotti with chocolate mousse and hazelnut whipped cream with daddy. My inlaws took us to a great little italian place for Mother’s Day.

MD FlowersMother’s Day flowers. Our allergies have been going insane but they’re too pretty to throw away yet.

CarouselCan you see us? Henry looks unimpressed, but lemme tell you, the kid had a blast. There were very vocal protests when it was time to get off. This was at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

mmmm yeahYESSSSS!!!!

mom san franLunch with a view. I miss my mom.

Henry ThroneHenry on his new couch. Yes, his. We’re allowed to sit on it sometimes (like when he’s asleep).

Henry SlidingMy big boy. 

 

California living.

We’re here. Our new home just north of  San Francisco. If I’m totally honest, I kinda like it here. The area is beautiful, the people are great, and our little apartment is really cute. But…it’s not home home. It’s lacking things like my mom, my friends, my job, green chile, etc etc. I am giving myself a couple more days to mope and then I’m pulling up the big girl panties and moving on.

Wanna hear about the 1,100 mile road trip with a toddler? It was actually ok. So here’s what you need: an iPad or DVD player (we had an iPad); snacks; sippy cups; books; my iPhone; and another pair of hands (aka my mom). For serious, if my mom hadn’t come, I would have been screwed. Majorly. She reset the Daniel Tiger episodes on the iPad, handed out snacks, sang him songs…you get the picture. And if you have hang ups about your kids watching TV, you will get over that hang up about 2 minutes into a late-April snow/ice storm in Northern Arizona. That damn Tiger possibly quite literally saved our lives. I love the child more than life itself but that high-pitched scream he belts out when he wants something is enough to fray even the steeliest of nerves.

Another thing that made it doable was stopping every evening for the night. My preferred method of travel is usually “get in the car and don’t stop until you need gas.” That’s just not feasible when you have a toddler who loves his routine. Speaking of which, he stayed on his nap schedule in the car. Fell asleep at nap time, awake for the rest of the day until bed time. Henry even took to his time zone like a champ. I am lucky that he’s transitioned seamlessly into his new California life. I was dreading the long nights and messed up schedules, but nah, it’s the same (if not a little better, really).

On Sunday, we drove the half hour to the City. The trip brought back all of those feelings of love I have for San Francisco. It’s an amazing place. But it felt surreal that I wouldn’t be going home with my mom, back to New Mexico. I know I’ll get used to it soon and I really am excited for all of the fun stuff we are going to do as a family here. Really, I am. Lucky you will get to read all about them, too!

My mom stayed until yesterday. She helped me unpack and organize our apartment as well as teach her culinary-challenged daughter a few easy recipes. Dropping her off at the airport yesterday was SO SAD. I basically moped around feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day. It’s kinda pretty pathetic. But driving over the Golden Gate Bridge twice on the way and way back was pretty awesome. And coming over the hills into Marin and Sonoma Counties is really spectacular, too. Imagine lots of green, rolling hills and cows. And some trees. I’m an awful writer, but believe me, it’s really pretty.

Now, I’ve got my laptop set up at the dining room table, all ready to get to work tomorrow. My awesome boss/friend Derek has let me continue my employment from home, which is good because babysitters. We don’t have ’em.

There are pictures, but I am too tired to get them on this computer tonight. Don’t panic though, I’ll be back with lots and lots of pics soon. I am sure you were just rife with worry until I reassured you. (smiley face) Also, sorry for the jumbled thoughts. I’ll try to get my act together quickly.

Goodnight!

Tonight is rough.

A week and some change before we hit the road. I’m starting to feel anxious and nervous and excited and terrified. Part of me wants to get there and get settled in already, but the other part of me wants to slow down time. I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye. I don’t like that I’m texting my best friend telling her I want to see her just one more time before we leave. There’s also this nagging feeling that I’m leaving unfinished business behind. But that business wants nothing to do with me as far as I can tell, so it’s probably best I leave that in the rear view, however difficult that might be.

But let’s talk about happier things: Henry. OMG you guys, this kid is growing up fast. I know he’s just your average 16 month old (tomorrow) but he’s amazing to me.

The kid is so well behaved in public. The tantrums he throws at home are epic, but in public he’s an angel. He holds my hand, minds me when I say “don’t touch that” or “put that back”, and he’s so patient. We went to the bookstore, just the two of us, last weekend and he stood there in line with me, holding my hand for a good 10 minutes while a chatty German woman checked out. I was honestly shocked.

Ok he’s not always an angel in public. When it’s nap time and I won’t let him dump the salt shaker all over the table in a restaurant…yeah that’s our cue to exit swiftly.

Honestly though, I love these toddler times, tantrums and all. He’s starting to become a little kid with a personality. He loves his shoes and would wear them all day and night if I let him. Daniel Tiger is still his BFF. He is a pro at navigating the iPad and taking lots of (mostly black) photos and some pretty cool videos, really. He likes to grab a book and sit on his Sesame Street chair. I bought him a back pack and it’s his new favorite thing. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. I’ll leave you with some pics of my growing little boy.

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I love you first, New Mexico.

I love New Mexico. I’m a New Mexico girl deep down. I wasn’t born here and I wasn’t raised here, but I spent my childhood summers here with my cousins and became a grown up here. My first apartment was in Albuquerque. I graduated from the University of New Mexico, so just imagine all of the firsts that had to offer. Hint: a lot. Before I moved to LA, I applied to every journalism job in the state (I was later offered one, but that was months after I moved and living with my now-husband). That just wasn’t a great time to be working in journalism and jobs were scarce everywhere.

But in the four years I lived in LA, I was miserably homesick for New Mexico. I hear that happens to most people who leave the state. There wasn’t just one thing I missed, there were countless things: food, friends, family, the smell when it rains, on and on and on. I was ecstatic to be able to move back here in 2010, where even more firsts occurred. Over the course of the few years we’ve been back, I’ve gotten married, adopted a dog, had a baby, made some new friends, lost friends, and I’ve changed (for the better, I think, although I am sure some people would disagree).

The Pacific Ocean is calling me back again, against my will, but I’m heeding its call for my husband. He sacrificed a lot to move here for me and it’s time to return the favor. And even though Albuquerque is in the midst of turmoil right now, I’m still going to miss it like crazy and only hope that one day I can experience some more firsts here.

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The Sandias, another thing I’ll miss dearly. Photo courtesy of moi.

Getting closer.

We have an apartment. It’s in a little town called Petaluma. On one hand, I am so relieved we have a place to move into on April 29, even if it is tiny. It’s got a washer and dryer. I’d forgotten all about California and how most apartment complexes do not have a washer and dryer in unit. In LA, our apartment had a garage parking spot and a w/d. We thought we hit the jackpot! In ABQ, you just kinda expect it. And parking is never an issue here. So after a couple weeks of searching and finding larger places for the same price sans washer and dryer, we settled on the smaller place with them. There is no way in hell I’m dragging Henry to a laundromat. That’s my idea of hell.

Anyway, we leave on the 26th and embark on a fun little road trip with a toddler and a U-haul. My excitement level is negative 100, if you can’t tell. I know it’s going to be great eventually, but I’m still sad about the whole thing.

On Saturday, my husband and I got out of the house for a couple hours after Henry went to bed. My BFF Natalie had us over to her new house for food and games. We had so much fun, but I cried almost the whole way home because I’m gonna miss her so much. Gah, I’m crying now, so change of subject.

Henry had his 15 month well baby check last week and he screamed the entire time. Well, from the moment the nurse tried to take his temp and all the way through the shots. If you have a kid who loves his naps, don’t schedule things at nap time, k? But, regardless, he’s perfect and right on track. Also has some healthy lungs on him.

Henry will be up from his nap soon, so I’m gonna go to the bathroom in private while I still have a chance. Later.

It’s officially official.

Oh damn. I forgot to update all you robots (I doubt I have more than 2-3 actual readers). Chris signed the job offer and we are moving to Cal-i-for-ni-a in about a month. I am experiencing mixed emotions right now. On one hand, I cry several times a day even thinking about leaving and on the other, I’m excited for this adventure. I’ve been in a slump for a while, long before even Henry was born, so maybe this is what I need. What we all need. Maybe.

Now on to the logistics planning like picking a place to live, figuring out the best way to get there, etc etc etc. It’s all a little overwhelming, frankly, and I kinda wish my husband would take the reins on that and tell me the plan when he’s done. But, ya know, marriage is about team work and all.

That’s all she wrote (tonight).